Help Center

Choose a category below to expand the list of topics or use the Search function below:


What is a Domain Name?

A domain name represents a physical point on the Internet — an IP address. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governs coordination of the links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet. With this standardized coordination, you can find websites on the Internet by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.

Here’s an example: Think of a street address for a house or business — let’s say the White House. The street address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is an exact location — like an IP address. You might not know the exact street address, but when you visit Washington, D.C., you can tell your cabbie that you want to visit the White House and still get there. This is how a domain name is used: It’s an easy way to reach the exact location of a website without having to remember the numeric address.

A domain name consists of, at least, a top-level and a second-level domain. See What are top-level domains (TLD) and country code top-level domains (ccTLD)? and What are second-level domains (SLD) and country code second level domains (ccSLD)? for information on these terms. Domain names must be registered with an ICANN-accredited registrar. We are an ICANN-accredited registrar, and you can register domain names through us.

Many TLDs, also called extensions, can be registered by anyone. The extensions .com, .net, and .org are good examples that anyone can register.

Others, primarily country-code extensions (ccTLDs), have residency requirements — like .eu (representing the European Union) and .us (representing the United States).

Still others, like .aero, .biz, .edu, .mil, .museum, .name, and .pro, are restricted to a certain type of entity or community — like .edu, which is reserved for educational entities and .gov, which is reserved for government agencies.


Registering a Domain Name

Registering a domain name provides an easy way for people to find your website and build credibility on the Internet. You can use domain names to support your business and assist in creating a dynamic online presence. Your domain name establishes your online identity and increases branding, marketing and communication opportunities. You can Register multiple domain names to:

  • Keep your competition from registering a domain name that draws customers away from you.
  • Promote the products and services you offer.
  • Drive more traffic to your website.
  • Enjoy more opportunities to market to — and be listed on — search engines.
  • Create distinct advertising strategies to reach different target markets.
  • Provide customers more ways to find you on the Internet.
  • Capture common misspellings of your domain name, instead of sending visitors to an error page.
  • Protect your brand and online identity from unsavory parties.

To get started, check to see if the domain name you want is available. If available, either contact us and we can register the domain for you, or you can go to Check-Out and register the domain name for a period of time you specify.

Checking a Domain Name’s Availability

  1. Go to our Registration Home Page.
  2. In the Domain Name Search field, enter the domain name you want to register, and then select the domain name extension from the list.
  3. Click GO.

If the domain name you requested is already registered, we provide available alternatives. For example, you might be able to select a .info or .ws domain extension, rather than .com. Or you could register instead of

If the domain name is available, follow the instructions to complete the checkout process. Be sure to include valid contact information for each contact. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the governing body for domain names, requires valid contact information (registrant, technical, billing, and administrative). If you enter false information, your domain name can be canceled.

Your contact information is public and accessible through the Whois database at most registrars. However, you can protect your privacy by registering your domain name with us using our private domain name registration services.

When you purchase a private domain name registration through our affiliate company, Domains By Proxy® (DBP), the Whois database lists DBP’s name, postal address, and phone number — instead of your personal contact information.


Can I (and should I) register more than one domain name?

If you’re thinking about registering more than one domain name, you’ve got the right idea. Registering and using multiple domains names is great for building your business, protecting your brand name, and creating a dynamic online identity.

When you register multiple domain names, you can:

  • Keep your competition from registering a similar domain name drawing customers to them instead of you
  • Promote the different products and services you offer
  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Enjoy more opportunities to market to — and be listed in — search engines
  • Create distinct advertising strategies reaching different target markets
  • Provide customers more ways to find you when searching the Internet
  • Capture common misspellings of your domain name, instead of sending visitors to an error page
  • Protect your brand and online identity


My domain expired! Can I get it back?

Domain names are registered in one year increments (up to a maximum of 10 years). Most people will commonly renew their domains every year. A lot can happen in a year (let alone 10 years); contact email addresses may change, your bank may issue you a new Credit/Debit Card number, your phone number may have changed, you may have moved, etc. When such changes occur you may not have received your invoices for your annual renewal (we bill 30-60 days before expiration), or your Credit/Debit Card on file for auto-pay may have expired. In such cases we will make every effort to contact you at your last known email address, phone number, and physical address, but unless we successfully get a hold of you to update your payment information your domain name may not be renewed on time.

It happens sometimes. Besides renewing your domain for multiple years at a time, or just remembering to keep us updated to any changes in your contact information or billing information, your domain will enter a 30-day Grace Period after it expires. During this Grace Period your domain can be renewed for it’s normal cost. It’s all good…let out a big sigh of relief.

However, after the 30-day Grace Period your domain is held by our Registrar in a Redemption Period. Registrars can hold an expired domain for up to a maximum of one year after expiration in this Redemption Period. During this time we can “redeem” your domain, but at whatever increased cost the Registrar is asking for the domain. In many cases your domain can be redeemed for around $150 (which includes a 1 year renewal), but if your domain is a high-profile domain the cost to redeem may be $5000 or more.

In such cases, you have three options:

  1. You can pay the Redemption fee. If your domain is that good and that important, then it’s probably worth it.
  2. We can back-order your domain and when it is released from the Redemption Period by the Registrar it will be automatically re-registered for you. Back-orders cost $20.00. A back-ordered domain may take anywhere from 45 days to a year before it becomes re-registered (assuming no one else pays the Redemption fee before then for your domain).
  3. We can order an alternate domain for you that is similar to your original domain. Domain registrations are $15.00 a year.


Why can’t I see my new website

If changes have been made to your Domain Name, such as changing your DNS (Domain Name Service) Servers, or making any changes to your domain zone records in DNS, then DNS or Domain Propagation must occur. Domain Propagation may take anywhere from a few minutes to as long as 24-72 hours.

When a visitor tries to visit your website their computer contacts the DNS Servers belonging to their ISP (Internet Service Provider). These DNS Servers then query the registration database to find out who the DNS authority is for your website. Then they visit our DNS servers to find out what the IP Address is for your domain name, and from there your visitor can view your website.

The problem with this is that in order to speed up the rate at which their customers can view the internet, some Internet Server Providers tend to cache non-authoritative DNS records. This means that they make a copy of the master records and read from them locally instead of looking them up on the Internet each time one of their customers wants to view a website. This can create the appearance of speeding up web surfing by a few milliseconds, by reducing the return time it takes for a web browser to request a domain lookup and get an answer, and also reducing the amount of overall traffic on their service.

The downside to caching and why it takes so long for your website to be visible to everyone is that each ISP that caches DNS records only updates them every few days. There is unfortunately no standard for how this is handled, and although the practice is widely discouraged, this time can be set anywhere from a few hours to several days by some ISPs. The slow updating of the DNS server cache is called Domain Propagation, as changes to your domain name’s DNS information are being propagated across all DNS servers on the internet. Once this is complete everyone can visit your new website. Being that the cache time is different for all DNS servers, as mentioned above, it can often take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for DNS changes to be totally complete.

Please note that all non-caching DNS Servers will see the changes to your domain’s DNS immediately. Google’s DNS Servers and OpenDNS, and most Public DNS Servers are non-caching.


How long does DNS Propagation take

Non-caching DNS (Domain Name Services) Servers will see your domain changes immediately. Caching DNS Servers may take anywhere from a few minutes to as long as 24-72 hours to propagate your domain changes.


Comments are closed.